View Full Version : Sight Change on a GI Springfield?

April 12, 2008, 11:36 AM
Has anyone changed their sights on a Springfield GI model 1911? I looked at the slide, and the sights are neither pinned in nor dovetailed... I'm guessing they are part of the slide...:confused:

Any help out there?

April 12, 2008, 01:25 PM
Rear sight is in a dovetail, same as GI. At least, it is on my 15 year-old Springfield 1911 A1. If they did something different on your model, I'd be surprised, but you could call and ask? Keep in mind there is a dimple in the slide in the bottom of the dovetail that bears up hard against the sight, so it should be drifted out from left to right and installed from right to left.

The front sight has a soft steel stem that goes down into a square hole in the slide and is crimped, then ground flush with the inside of the slide. If you have the barrel and bushing out of the slide you can see it. You can cut the flare of the crimp away with a Dremel tool, but the sight will no longer have enough metal to reuse, so most people just grab it carefully with pliers and twist back and forth until it breaks off, then push the stem out from the outside with a small drift punch.

Note that the Springfield I have uses a hole that is bigger than GI but smaller than Goldcup size, so you have to get a front sight made for a Springfield slide to replace it (not to mention the crimp tool). If you are going for an after-market front sight with a dovetail, you'll have to get someone with a milling machine to cut the female dovetail into the slide for you. You can get the dovetail cutter from Brownells. If you go to a gunsmith, he should already have one. There are only two standard sizes, IIRC.

Harry Bonar
April 12, 2008, 08:48 PM
I,d have a set of Novaks put on = you will end up with a dovetail rear and front with a pin in it, Or, you can get a Millet or Bomar rear installed and a dovetail front = actually prefer the Novak,
Harry B,

James K
April 12, 2008, 09:20 PM
WATCH OUT!!!! If you mean the "GI" model made by Springfield Armory, Inc. in the last few years, the advice is good. The sight is inserted into a hole in the slide and you should be able to see the hole if you remove the slide and turn it upside down.

BUT, if you really have a Model 1911 made by Springfield Armory in the early 1900's DO NOT do anything to it. The gun is very valuable.

And the front sight is part of the slide, the only M1911 made that way. Trying to remove it will remove a couple of thousand dollars from the value of the gun.


April 16, 2008, 01:01 PM
Hey thanks for the GREAT info. I see the hole now... I'm gonna take it to a 'smith and have him install Novak sights.

And nope, its SAI, not SA...